In July and August of 2019, the Retail Dietitians Business Alliance conducted a survey of retail dietitians to capture insights on retail dietitians’ roles, job satisfaction and shopper engagement. In total, 116 retail RDs completed the survey. Today, we're sharing the survey results.
Retail RDs Find Value in RDBA
An incredible 90 percent of retail RDs find RDBA membership very or somewhat valuable to their professional development. Thank you for this vote of confidence. We’re thrilled that the services we provide are valued by retail RDs!
When asked which member benefits are of most value, retail RDs indicated monthly webinars and the weekly e-newsletter are most valued followed by the website, live education events such as What’s In Store and Samplefest®. Of least value were sponsor e-blasts and podcasts. Podcasts were a new member benefit in 2019 and we know interest in this education method will continue to rise.
As related to specific topics that would benefit their professional development and which retail RDs would like to see more information and resources provided, retail trends topped the list followed by career advancement, how to thrive in the retail culture, ROI measurement, tracking and communication, negotiations (HR, vendor, community and internal partnerships), and strategy development as indicated in the chart here. There is less interest in topics including people and project management, self-care and identifying strengths. Some of the “other” topics suggested were salary comparisons, other corporate retail positions for which RDs would qualify, and media training.
Based on this member input, RDBA will focus heavily on topics of highest interest in our newsletter, monthly webinars, and other education efforts to ensure these retail RD needs are being met.
Retail dietitians provided data on the number of shoppers they assist on a monthly basis. Thirty percent of survey respondents indicated they reach 50-100 shoppers, 26% between 101-250, 22% between 11-50, 10% reach 10 or less, 7% between 251 and 500, and 5% more than 500 shoppers each month. In extrapolating this data to the approximate 1,000 retail RDs in North America, conservative estimates indicate these nutrition professionals are directly engaging more than 125,000 shoppers each month or 1.5 million annually. It’s important to note that these numbers do not include social or traditional media engagement.
Approach to Shopper Engagement
Facebook and Instagram are the most common social media platforms used by survey respondents followed equally by Twitter and LinkedIn. The least commonly used platform is Snapchat.
Fifty-nine perfect of retail dietitians indicate they can create their own merchandising displays and 60% can place “Dietitian’s Choice” or similar tags near products.
Just 12% of survey respondents indicate their work includes telemedicine or teleconferencing with clients on healthy living consults. Seventy-four percent indicate they market their programs and services to nearby medical offices.
When asked specifically where they spend time, survey results show that retail RDs spend less than 25% of their time in the majority of role functions. Few retail nutrition professionals are spending a high percentage of their time in any one priority area. This data, as presented below, suggests what is already known – retail dietitians have a vast number of responsibilities and offer a variety of programs and services to meet their shoppers’ needs.
Survey results indicate the majority of retail dietitians are happy in their roles, with 33% indicating they love, love, love their jobs and 43% indicating on most days I like coming to work. Just three percent are actively looking for a new job. Fifty-eight percent of retail RDs indicate the work itself contributes most to their job satisfaction rating and 26% indicate the retail work schedule/work-life balance. Just 10% align their rating with their manager or company management and 7% with their salary and benefits. An impressive 37% of retail RDs indicate very strong support of health and wellness programs by their executives and 34% indicate moderately strong support. Just 5% indicate a lack of support by upper management.